Brookland Park, Forest Hill lose dining spots

Streetcar Cafe at 10 E. Brookland Park Blvd. is no longer operational as a coffee shop. (J. Elias O'Neal)

Streetcar Cafe at 10 E. Brookland Park Blvd. is no longer operational as a coffee shop. (J. Elias O’Neal)

The concept for a recently closed Northside neighborhood coffee shop space is about to change, while a short-lived Southside restaurant calls it quits.

Streetcar Café at 10 E. Brookland Park Blvd. is no longer open daily, said Derek McDaniels, executive director of the Nehemiah Community Development Corp., a nonprofit that opened the coffee shop in June 2015.

Since early October, McDaniels said the 1,800-square-foot space has been available to rent for events and meetings, but no longer serves as a permanent coffee shop.

Nehemiah Community Development Corp. owns the site, and McDaniels said the group has listed the space with broker Sara Williamson of Richmond-based Colliers International to help secure a restaurant tenant.

The nonprofit, which touts its work with area merchants and community stakeholders in the greater Brookland Park neighborhood, secured about $120,000 in city-funded grants more than a year ago to upfit the location and establish Streetcar Café and the Brookland Park Bike Co-op in the space.

The bike co-op is also in the process of moving out of the location in search of new digs, McDaniels said.

“The whole idea behind the space was to keep the location fresh and meet the needs of the community,” McDaniels said. “We’re hoping to get a sit-down eatery in the space, since that’s what the community needs.”

Brookland Park is in the midst of drastic changes, with some developers and brokers calling it the next Church Hill.

Kinsfolk closed its doors last week at 3516 Forest Hill Ave. (J. Elias O'Neal)

Kinsfolk closed its doors last week at 3516 Forest Hill Ave. (J. Elias O’Neal)

A number of new and existing local retailers and restaurants are now targeting the neighborhood for expansion, including Black Hand Coffee, which is planning a coffee-roasting site at 15 E. Brookland Park Blvd.

Jay Bayer and Adam Hall, the team behind Jackson Ward restaurant Saison and the adjoining Saison Market, recently said they were eyeing Brookland Park for their next potential venture.

Across the river, Kinsfolk restaurant at 3516 Forest Hill Ave. shut down last week after eight months in business.

The restaurant, which served its own approach to Southern favorites, was owned by Daniel Ingram and his wife Tiffany. The closure was first reported by the Times-Dispatch.

Ingrim said maintenance issues with the building, along with the need to focus more attention on their other restaurant in Mechanicsville – Bell Café – and their newborn baby, are forcing them to close the location. They had signed a three-year lease with the Forest Hill landlord, Bulifant Properties Inc.

Bulifant Properties could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

“We like the neighborhood,” Ingram said. “But it all became a bit much. I’m relieved…but if we found the right space we would return to this neighborhood.”

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